NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 23:27:20 -0600
From: "pedro martori"
Subject: John Kerry. Leading to Disaster
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 00:27:31 -0500
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From: "ricardo a. gonzalez"
Subject: John Kerry. Leading to Disaster
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 11:58 PM
Leading to Disaster
For John Kerry, gutting intel is "common sense."
By Barbara Comstock=20
In the 1990s, John Kerry served eight years on the Senate Intelligence
Committee. Despite such incidents as the World Trade Center bombing in
1993 and the bombing of the Khobar Towers in 1996, Kerry proposed
intelligence cuts throughout the 1990s and even asked his colleagues
in 1997, "Now that [the Cold War] struggle is over, why is it that our
vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow?"
Fortunately, many of his liberal-Democratic colleagues understood that
there were other threats, such as terrorism, that still abounded; it
was rare for them even to agree with his proposed slashing of the
In September 1995, two years after the first World Trade Center
attack, Senator Kerry proposed cutting $1.5 billion from the
intelligence budget. Kerry included the cuts in a laundry list of
government expenditures that Kerry described as "pointless, wasteful,
antiquated, or just plain silly." Kerry heralded these cuts as part of
"one senator's common sense effort" and claimed the proposed cuts were
part of a "bipartisan, common sense direction," which he said was "in
our best interest."
How many other senators followed Kerry's bipartisan "common sense
direction" in 1995? Not a one. Not California's Barbara Boxer or
Michigan's Carl Levin, who have never seen a defense cut they didn't
relish. Not even Kerry's Massachusetts liberal colleague Ted Kennedy.
To further demonstrate how ill-equipped Kerry is to handle
intelligence matters: He likened these cuts to trimming "the mink
subsidy." Mink subsidies and intel funding =E2=80=94 all in the same =
the John Kerry worldview. No doubt his friends in France and at PETA
Kerry's 1995 proposal was no aberration. In 1994 Kerry twice pushed to
cut $1 billion from the budgets of the National Foreign Intelligence
Program and from Tactical Intelligence, and advocated freezing their
budgets. When the bill got stuck in committee, Kerry proposed it as an
amendment to another bill. His amendment was defeated by a vote of
What was the response from some of the more mainstream Democrats to
Kerry's 1994 cuts? Arizona senator Dennis DeConcini, chairman of the
Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, warned: "I continue to
believe today that last year's intelligence cut was as deep as the
intelligence community can withstand during its post-Cold War
transition." DeConcini explained that intelligence resources had
already been reduced by more than 13 percent compared with 1989
appropriations. DeConcini also explained that the freeze, in addition
to the $1 billion cut, would really mean an additional $5 billion in
cuts over five years.
Senator DeConcini, apparently not oblivious to the first World Trade
Center attack in 1993, observed, "We no longer seem immune from acts
of terrorism in the United States." He warned that it made "no sense
for us to close our eyes and ears to developments around the world
which could ultimately save U.S. lives and resources." DeConcini also
explained that the Intelligence Committee, on which Kerry served at
the time, had taken a "long hard look at what we are spending on
intelligence." Perhaps Kerry hadn't looked as long and hard as his
more serious-minded Democratic colleagues?
One of them, Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye, warned that Kerry's cuts
would "severely hamper the intelligence community's ability to provide
decision makers and policymakers with information on matters of vital
concern to this country." Inouye reminded his colleagues of the
threats of nuclear proliferation by North Korea, as well as terrorist
threats against American citizens and property, and pointed out that
the bill already provided for less than had been requested by the
Clinton administration. Of the Kerry amendment, Inouye stated, "This
amendment would take away their protection [American troops overseas]
and I am not prepared to do that.... As long as we are confronted with
madmen, terrorists and countries with strained agendas, I think it
would be prudent on the part of the United States to maintain a ready
force of men and women who are willing to stand in harm's way."
Finally, during the eight years Kerry served on the Intelligence
Committee, he proposed budget cuts at least three times. So how many
times during his eight-year tenure on the Intelligence Committee did
he propose legislation to increase funding for human intelligence or
to reform the intelligence community? You guessed it: zilch, zero.
That about sums up John Kerry's "leadership" on intelligence and
When one considers that, in addition to this abysmal record, John
Kerry has voted against funding the MX missile, the Patriot missile,
the Apache helicopter, the Blackhawk helicopter, the B-1 Bomber, the
Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and just about every significant weapons
system used in the war on terrorism, it's clear John Kerry's record
won't survive its deserved, and impending, close-up.
=E2=80=94 Barbara Comstock is a former Department of Justice =
currently a principal with Blank Rome Government Relations.
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